Freedom of speech
According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), "It is probably no accident that freedom of speech is the first freedom mentioned in the First Amendment: 'Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.' The Constitution's framers believed that freedom of inquiry and liberty of expression were the hallmarks of a democratic society.
"But historically, at times of national stress -- real or imagined -- First Amendment rights come under enormous pressure. During the Red Scare of the early 1920s, thousands were deported for their political views. During the McCarthy period, the infamous blacklist ruined lives and careers. Today, the creators, producers and distributers of popular culture are often blamed for the nation's deep social problems. Calls for censorship threaten to erode free speech.
"The First Amendment exists precisely to protect the most offensive and controversial speech from government suppression. The best way to counter obnoxious speech is with more speech. Persuasion, not coercion, is the solution."
Other Related SourceWatch Resources
- anti-American activities
- antiwar rallies
- Central Intelligence Agency
- Department of Homeland Security
- Federal Bureau of Investigation
- information infrastructure
- International Freedom of Expression eXchange
- Patriot Act I
- Patriot Act II
- Treating dissent as treason
- More Right to Protest News, ACLU. Current news articles.
- "Articles filed under ‘Freedom of Speech’", Dissident Voice.
- David S. Allen and Robert Jensen, "Freeing the first amendment: critical perspectives on freedom of expression" (New York University Press, 1995).
- Robert Jensen, "Against Dissent: Why free speech is important as the U.S. drops cluster bombs", CounterPunch, November 2, 2001.
- Justin Podur, "The March on CNN", Znet, March 9, 2003.
- Free Speech : Right to protest. Free Speech Under Fire: The ACLU Challenge to "Protest Zones", ACLU, September 23, 2003.
- Jennifer Petersen, "Freedom of expression as liberal fantasy: the debate over The People vs. Larry Flynt", Media, Culture & Society, Vol. 29, No. 3, 377-394 (2007). 
- James H. Ewert Jr., "Adbusters’ Ads Busted", In these Times, April 4, 2008.
- International Freedom of Expression eXchange (IFEX) - a global network of organisations that monitors attacks on free speech worldwide.